High visibility clothing is an important element of personal protective equipment for many workers. Not only essential for working in low-light, high visibility clothing can save lives even in broad daylight.
Some of the industries which will require high vis garments are the construction, air travel, public transport services, emergency medical services and police. One of the main concerns that necessitates high visibility clothing is moving vehicles where there is a risk of a worker being injured or killed if a driver cannot see them. In some cases, this means high visibility elements should be included in the workwear of factory workers, too. Even if workers work primarily in daylight, if moving vehicles are a threat, high vis clothing is a good idea, especially if they continue their tasks come rain or shine. Rainy, overcast weather can make people just as difficult to spot as nightfall.
High visibility gear can also enhance the safety of people engaging in recreational activities like running and cycling and motorcyclists should be wearing high vis garments.
So, what classifies clothing as ‘high visibility’? Bright colours are a good place to start. Yellow, electric blue and red tend to be easily seen. Fluorescent colours like luminous yellow and orange are even better as the sun's ultraviolet rays react with them making them appear to 'glow' and increasing daytime visibility. Reflective strips are the other must-have on high vis clothing and it’s been proven that they significantly reduce the chance of a worker being involved in a serious accident. Reflective fabrics used to make reflective strips contain micro glass beads and are half coated with aluminum to improve the reflective coefficient significantly. The highly reflective glass beads coated in the surface of the cloth work by reflecting light back to the light source only, such as a car's headlights. A combination of fluorescent colours and reflective strips is therefore first prize for visibility.
There are a variety of high-visibility garments available from brightly coloured, full overalls adorned with several reflective strips to T-shirts, vests, belts and waterproof raingear. Adding high res clothing to your workers’ wardrobes is an inexpensive and simple precaution that make a significant difference to workplace safety.